Circulating small extracellular vesicles (sEV) represent promising non-invasive biomarkers that may aid in the diagnosis and risk-stratification of multiple myeloma (MM), an incurable blood cancer. Here, we comprehensively isolated and characterized sEV from human MM cell lines (HMCL) and patient-derived plasma (psEV) by specific EV-marker enrichment and morphology. Importantly, we demonstrate that HMCL-sEV are readily internalised by stromal cells to functionally modulate proliferation. psEV were isolated using various commercial approaches and pre-analytical conditions (collection tube types, storage conditions) assessed for sEV yield and marker enrichment. Functionally, MM-psEV was shown to regulate stromal cell proliferation and migration. In turn, pre-educated stromal cells favour HMCL adhesion. psEV isolated from patients with both pre-malignant plasma cell disorders (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance [MGUS]; smouldering MM [SMM]) and MM have a similar ability to promote cell migration and adhesion, suggesting a role for both malignant and pre-malignant sEV in disease progression. Proteomic profiling of MM-psEV (305 proteins) revealed enrichment of oncogenic factors implicated in cell migration and adhesion, in comparison to non-disease psEV. This study describes a protocol to generate morphologically-intact and biologically functional sEV capable of mediating the regulation of stromal cells, and a model for the characterization of tumour-stromal cross-talk by sEV in MM.
- extracellular vesicles